Next it’s the ethereal sound of The Low Anthem. ‘Charlie Darwin’ is the opening track off the the Rhode Islander’s 2009 album Oh My God, Charlie Darwin.
And now for a slight change of style… Joni Mitchell’s 1969 album Clouds was a breakthrough work for the singer-songwriter. It featured two of her standards ‘Chelsea Morning’ and ‘Both Sides Now’. The truth is that I prefer a number of cover versions of the former; not so for ‘ Both Sides Now’ and its ice cream castles in the air. Have a great weekend.
For me, country music recordings should come with warning labels. I often find it trite and dewy-eyed. Not so for much of the output of Townes Van Zandt. ‘Dollar Bill Blues’ featured on his 1978 collection Flyin’ Shoes. I like nostalgia and the storytelling as much as the next man… gambling, booze, self-destruction and late-night love.
Van Morrison’s majestic album Saint Dominic’s Preview, closes with ‘Almost Independence Day’. With its echoes of his work on Astral Weeks, I was always going to like this song. I was not alone; David Gilmour and Roger Waters were evidently listening and wishing they were here.
In May 1969, Atlantic Records released Crosby, Stills, and Nash’s self-titled debut album. A month later, they released “Marrakesh Express” as the supergroup’s debut single. Its B-side, was the alliterate ‘Helplessly Hoping’, the achingly beautiful song penned Stephen Stills.
‘Trick Of The Light’ is the first release from Villagers’ forthcoming album The Art Of Pretending To Swim. The track opens to a steady pulse and quickly creates a groove that is more than slightly R&B. The folk returns as the song progresses and Conor O’Brien chases ‘A Trick Of The Light’.
After over 6 years of daily blogging, you don’t get many more opportunities to post your favourite songs of all time. ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’ is from Leonard Cohen’s third album, Songs of Love and Hate, released in 1971. It’s a about a love triangle between Jane, Leonard, his “brother”/his “killer”. The famous blue raincoat in question is a Burberry that Cohen bought in London in the late 1950s. A slightly less cool fact is about that hook line that accompanies the lyric “Jane came by with a lock of your hair, she said…”. It is identical to the one used by writers Hammond and Bayer Sager for the chorus on Leo Sayer’s ‘When I Need You’. It still makes me mad.
A compilation for the weekend. My favourite songs of 1998 in no particular order:
Honourable mentions also go to: Air for ‘La Femme D’Argent‘; Elliott Smith for ‘Waltz#2‘; Eels for ‘Last Stop: This Town‘; People Under The Stairs for ‘San Francisco Nights‘: The Beta Band for ‘Dry The Rain‘; and Massive Attack for ‘Teardrop‘.
And now to a different strand of the mythical folk rock genre. Brooklyn’s Big Thief balances the singer-songwriter’s storytelling with indie rock. Their debut album’s title track ‘Masterpiece’ sums it up. Adrianne Lenker sings: “There’s only so much letting go you can ask someone to do.”
Keeping to the contemporary theme this week… there is more than a slight resemblance of Matt Berninger’s baritone and his dystopian outlook in today’s sound. But this is not The National; instead I present Londoner John Joseph Brill’s recent single ‘I’m Not Alright’.